Early Education in Erie County

Risk and reach in your county:

Source: PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning – Click here


What’s happening in Erie County

Upcoming events:

Events in Erie County:

August 25: Family Resource Fair

Join us!

We're Reading the 2017 PA One Book!

Guest readers throughout Pennsylvania are reading the 2017 PA One Book selection, Daniel Finds a Poem by author Micha Archer in early learning programs. Glenn Miller, Deputy Secretary for Commonwealth Libraries/State Librarian, read the PA One Book, Daniel Finds a Poem, to children at the Coyle Library in Chambersburg on April 18, 2017. Deputy Secretary, Matthew Stem from the PA Office of Elementary/Secondary Education read Daniel Finds a Poem Read more...

PA One Book Classic Countdown

Help count down to the 2017 PA One Book! We're exploring the past PA One Book selections! Follow PA One Book on Facebook and PA One Book on Instagram to get fun activities to do with your child and the PA One Book classic, watch the video of the author reading the book, and share your experiences with the book. Check back each day Read more...

Please submit your local events! 

Local resources and LEARN partners:
Child care/early learning programs:
Family support resources:
Financial assistance and human services:
  • Find a food pantry near you with Ending Hunger in PA.
  • Erie Sprout lists community resources from emergency services to family services to volunteer opportunities
  • PA 2-1-1 is a statewide collaborative for health and human service information for Pennsylvanians. This easy to remember 2-1-1 phone number will link PA residents with human services throughout Pennsylvania.
  • A searchable map for the locations of federally-funded free summer meals in Pennsylvania. NOTE: This site takes some time to load.
  • Find out if you qualify for and apply for benefits like Medicaid, SNAP (Food Stamps) Children’s health Insurance (CHIP), and Child Care Works (CCIS) assistance for child care expenses – link to main COMPASS site.
  • Women, Infants, Children (WIC) – WIC provides healthy supplemental foods and nutrition services for pregnant women, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children under age five. Find your nearest WIC office.
  • PA County Resource Guide by the Juvenile Law Center – includes links for a variety of services including housing, health, recreation, and emergency numbers.
  • The CCIS office for Erie County is CCIS of Erie.
  • FamilyWize can help you save up to 75% on prescription medication by printing a FREE prescription card and showing it to your pharmacist.
  • Pennsylvania Healthy Corner Store Initiative: The Pennsylvania Department of Health is committed to increasing access to healthy food and beverage options, and partnering with retailers on the Pennsylvania Healthy Corner Store Initiative (HCSI).  This initiative connects store owners with resources to increase availability of healthy foods in corner stores, and offer consumers fresher, nutritious food options.
Family Centers:
  • List of Pennsylvania Family Centers (PDF) – provide a number of family and community services such as family support and information groups, child health and development screenings, In-home child development sessions, and toy- and book-lending libraries.
  • Greater Erie Community Action Committee (Erie): 814.451.5613
  • Dr. Gertrude A Barber Center (Erie): 814.874.5618
  • Multicultural Community Resource Center (Erie): 814.455.0212
  • Northwest Tri-Co IU 5 (Edinboro): 814-734-5610
  • Distance Learning Project Lewistown: 717.248.4942, x107
  • MyGED: Create an account, get GED® study materials and take a practice test. Access information on the test, step-by-step guidance, and tips for after you graduate.
  • Literacy Directory: A clearinghouse of adult basic education programs in the country.
  • PA Adult Education Resources: Adult Education Programs funded by Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Libraries for families:
Local school districts:
Stories from your neighbors:

Stories in Erie County:

Their Thoughts on PA Pre-K Counts

Families from the Union City Early Connections PA Pre-K Counts program share their thoughts on their child's and families experiences with the early learning program. What I like best about PA Pre-K Counts is the social interaction and curriculum. ~Tanya H. What I like best about PA Pre-K Counts is the great teachers. I like that they offer to younger children. Great program. What I like most about PA Pre-K Counts is the communication. I enjoy the Read more...

United Way cuts ribbon on second Imagination Library Reading Nook

United Way of Erie County, in collaboration with the Salvation Army and the American Tinning & Galvanizing (ATG) Family Endowment commemorated the continued success of the Imagination Library in Erie County by cutting the ribbon for a second Imagination Library Reading Nook located inside the Salvation Army, 1022 Liberty Street on Friday, December 4, 2015. The Reading Nook will help continue the momentum of preparing more local children Read more...

Helping Transitioning Kindergartners in Erie County

  The Erie Playhouse is thrilled to announce the launch of their newest program PLAYtime, developed by Youtheatre/Education Director Kate Neubert-Lechner. PLAYtime was born from inspiration by the United Way’s Imagination Library and uses theatre, the arts, and the boundless creativity and imaginations of pre-school children aged 2-5 to make books come alive. PLAYtime is designed to assist these children to enter Kindergarten with a love of books as Read more...

Lessons for Lilly

I’m not exactly sure where to start our story. Our daughter Lilly has been part of the PA Pre-K Counts program offered at the Corry YMCA now for two years. She wasn’t old enough to go to Kindergarten this past school year, so we were extremely fortunate for her to be a part of Mrs. Fox & Mrs. Huggler’s class again. My family is your everyday ordinary family who live in a community where your options Read more...

Building Angelli's self confidence

PA Pre-K Counts programs is a blessing to our Family My daughter Angelli is 4 years old and this is her 1st year in the program. Having found this program was really such a big help for my family, money is tight and not having to pay for day care till she starts kindergarten is a huge help. I was worried at first because my daughter did not really start talking until a few months after her Read more...

Building trust and self confidence

I have had the privilege to work with a young boy with severe language and communication needs for the past year and a half in the PA Pre-K Counts classroom in which I work. This young boy began attending in PA Pre-K Counts at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.  When he began he was unable to speak at all.  He would cry all the time and had no means to express his needs and wants.  He Read more...

Natalie and Erin and the people they will one day grow up to be

I would like to share the story of two beautiful girls, Natalie and Erin.  They both attended a PA Pre-K Counts program in Erie, Pennsylvania.  I cannot tell you who or what they would have become without this program, but I can tell you who they have become because of this program… Natalie was the first of the two to complete the program.  Thanks to the Read more...

A Place for Kyle

We had been advised to apply to several pre-K programs due to limited spaces. We were contacted by our 1st choice and proceeded to register Kyle. School started, and during the first week, we were contacted by the program director, and asked to come and get Kyle. He was no longer welcome at the school. You see, Kyle was very shy and couldn't use the bathroom in front of the other children. He held it so long, Read more...

Successful Inaugural PA One Book Symposium

The Northwest Regional Key would like to thank everyone that attended the inaugural PA One Book Symposium Tuesday April 22 at the Clarion Holiday Inn featuring Susan Stockdale, author of the 2014 PA One Book, Stripes Of All Types. [caption id="attachment_6204" align="alignright" width="240"] Stripes of All Types, author Susan Stockdale reads the 2014 PA One Book to children.[/caption] Susan was an absolute delight and presented a dynamic keynote address. Read more...

Lucky in Pennsylvania

An Erie County Childcare Director shares her thoughts on how lucky Pennsylvania children are to have access to PA Pre-K Counts and Keystone STARS In light if the budget crisis, I would like to focus on how lucky we are to live in Pennsylvania. More importantly, our children are lucky to be in Pennsylvania right now. We have a Governor who supports the importance of early childhood education. This in itself is an important step for Read more...

March 14: Celebrate National Pi Day (and Math!) with a book!

Did you know that babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners can start learning mathematical concepts before they even know what numbers are? (Numbers like pi 3.14!) Start your child on a life-long path of math by trying these activities: Provide plastic bowls, pots, wooden spoons for your baby to explore while you're cooking. Describe the sizes and the number of items. Give your toddler plastic measuring cups. Show him how to stack the cups on top of Read more...

10 kids books about dogs

Looking for a great children's book to celebrate National Puppy Day (March 23, 2017), or just a great dog book? Check out these favorites from PA's Promise for Children! Click here to print this list. Take the list to your library and ask the librarian to help you and your child find the books. Once you read each book, have your child circle the book! What is YOUR favorite book about dogs? Did it make Read more...

Tiona wouldn't have finished college

A graduate of the Nurse-Family Partnership program shared this note to her nurse. I just wanted to let you know that I finished college and I would not have done so without you. Thank you so much for all your love and support. You have forever touched and changed my life. And I miss ya. Hope all is well. Tiona Read more...

Early Learning Staff Celebrate National Literacy Day of Action

On July 29, 2015 the PA Key staff celebrated with The White House and the U.S. Department of Education to launch a day of action to raise awareness about the importance of reading where you are over the remaining days and weeks of summer before school starts. #ReadWhereYouAre highlights that reading over the summer makes a difference during the school year. When students are able to keep reading, they can keep learning, catch up, stay sharp and Read more...

Head Start has been an invaluable program for all of us

I would like to tell you how important the Head Start program has been to me and my family. My oldest son is now 29 years old. We know now that he is on the autism spectrum. He was born prematurely and had developmental delays. I was told those delays were a result of his prematurity. When my second son was born, thirteen months later, I began to realize how delayed my oldest son was. We Read more...

The more support young children get the better off they are

I have been involved in early childhood education for about 13 years. I am currently a Supervising Infant and Toddler teacher at a wonderful STAR 5, NAEYC accredited center. I enjoy making an impact each day in the lives of the children, families and staff that I work with. I have two children of my own, 4 and 2 years old. My mother has watched my children since they were babies as my husband and I were Read more...

Myleigh has flourished

When my daughter Myleigh began PA Pre-K Counts Preschool Program I was very apprehensive as to how the experience would be for her. The previous year she was enrolled in a two - half day a week program through an Early Interventions program. Myleigh had/has a significant speech delay and has had a lot of struggles and frustration when communicating with others either because they couldn't understand her or she just didn't know how to put Read more...

Ready for Kindergarten!

Our story began almost four years ago, with our eldest daughter Aurora. She was enrolled in the YMCA PA Pre-K Counts Program at age 3. She absolutely loved it and learned so many wonderful things, she always loves to go back for visits. Which is why we decided to stay with the school and enroll Lyliana 2 yrs ago. She is now 5 and has been there since she was 3. She loves her teachers Read more...

Sleepy Time, Bed Time: Ways to help your child sleep

What do sleepy babies, tired toddlers, yawning preschoolers, and cranky kindergartners have in common? They might not want to go to sleep at bedtime! Each child is different, but babies up to two years old may need nearly 11 hours of sleep a night, while preschoolers and kindergarteners may need 10 hours each night! Having a bedtime routine, or activities you do every night, can make a difference between a Read more...

Helping your child develop positive relationships

Positive relationships between families and children are the building blocks for healthy friendships. Get tips on how you can help your child develop positive relationships! Click here to print a copy!           Read more...
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Learn how you can tell your story – Click here

Listing of local resources is for information only and does not denote endorsement of them by Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children.
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What's Happening in Erie County:

Win a 2017 PA One Book!

The 2017 PA One Book; Every Young Child has finally arrived!  This year's selection, Daniel Finds a Poem, written and illustrated by Micha Archer, is a story about a boy who goes on an adventure through a park trying to find answers to his question, “What is poetry?” To help promote reading early and often to children in homes and early learning programs throughout Pennsylvania, one winner was selected Read more...

The 2017 PA One Book is here!

October 19th, 2016
2017 PA One Book, All Counties
Let's celebrate the 2017 PA One Book selection, Daniel Finds a Poem written and illustrated by Micha Archer! With beautiful illustrations and a great story about a boy who is on a mission to find out "What is poetry?" this book will help children explore and understand nature while seeing poetry everywhere through Daniel's experience. Attend an author reading in your community. The author, Read more...

October Book A Day Giveaway

Children who have access to books in their home spend more time with books, and those books can help them develop their language and communication skills. They are also more likely to do better in school, plus they can develop a stronger bond with their parent or caregiver.  PA's Promise is helping you build your child's home library with quarterly Book A Day Giveaways. During October, the book is Read more...

Engaging STEM Activity Using Plastic Lids

September 16th, 2016
All Counties, Resources
A Beaver County Pre-K Counts teacher, Kim Sabella at Tiny Tot Child Development Center incorporated recycled materials into an engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity with her preschool classroom. Sending out a request to the families, Kim collected lids of all different sizes and colors. Once gathered, the students sorted them by colors and tried to figure Read more...

Keeping your child safe from lead

September 14th, 2016
All Counties, Resources
Did you ever wonder why a plumber is called a plumber?  Perhaps it is because plumbers worked with plumbum – a soft, gray-blue heavy metal that could easily be formed into pipes and troughs for carrying water. We know plumbum as lead. Lead has had many uses over the years, from making paint flow smoothly or keeping your car from “knocking,” to hardening plastics.  However, unlike other metals like zinc or copper, lead has no uses Read more...

PA Pre-K Counts Openings in Erie

August 22nd, 2016
Erie County, News, What's Happening
Apply today! Click here to print the flyer.  

6 Tips for Summer Safety

Summer time is fun time, but families want to keep their children safe. Check out these 6 tips for summer safety. Click here to print. Read more...

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

January 18th, 2016
All Counties, Resources
How many time a day does your child brush his teeth? Does she floss? It's never too early to teach your child how to take care of their teeth! During February's National Children's Dental Health Month learn how you can help your Read more...

Erie Early Learning Center Receives Bright Star Award

November 2nd, 2015
Erie County, News
World of Care Christian Child Care, a Keystone STARS 3 early learning center at 1202 Buffalo Road in Erie, was selected to receive the “Bright Star” Award for the first quarter of the 2015-16 state fiscal year. The award was presented at the center on Friday Oct. 23, 2015 by Elana Como, executive director of the Northwest Regional Key, through the Northwest Institute of Research, and Dr. Jocelynn Smrekar of the Early Childhood Education faculty at Clarion Read more...

See if you’ve won the book What A Treasure!

You can start reading to your child as soon as he is born! Reading to him helps the two of you bond, and this gives your child a sense of security, intimacy and well-being. When started early, these feelings can help him develop a life-long love of reading. Reading a book is more than just looking at awesome pictures. Reading to a child can help your child learn that words represent sounds and concepts, words are Read more...